Canary Island recipes

map-of-canary-islandsflag of canary islandsRegion: Canary Islands, Islas Canarias (Spanish)

Capital: Santa Cruz and Las Palma

Islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.

Canary Island Maps and guides: Get your travel guide here

Situated in a sub-tropical location just off the coast of North Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy a climate known as the 'eternal spring' that even the Spanish mainlanders envy. The consistently good weather and unique volcanic landscapes of these 'fortunate islands' help to attract attract tourists from all over the world.


The location and history of the islands has created a cuisine which is a fusion of many different influences including Guanche, Spanish, Portuguese, North African, South American and Caribbean. The islands have been visited by many cultures throughout history and it is thought that the original inhabitants (the Guanches) were from North African ancestry. After the Spanish settlers arrived in the 14th century, the islands soon became a popular departure and arrival point for travellers to and from the Americas, resulting in the exchange of culture and cuisine.canary-island-roads

Travellers and explorers to many other regions of the world also used the islands as a stop-off point and ingredients that are now local staples such as the banana, arrived here as a result. Many Canary Island recipes are unique and interesting as a result of this cultural fusion; the unusual combination of fried eggs, banana, tomato sauce and rice that is now so popular in Spain - arroz cubana - is thought to have been introduced to the Canary Islands via Cuba.


It is no surprise that fish is a staple ingredient on the islands; the warm oceans provide a wide variety of seafood that differs from those found off the shores of mainland Spain. Fresh fish are often cooked on the grill or encased in salt and baked in the oven and then served simply with sauces, vegetables and salads. Fish can also prepared 'jareado' - sun-dried using traditional methods that pre-date the Spanish arrival - or salted using techniques that may have been introduced by early Portuguese visitors.

Canary Island recipes are often simple dishes of meat, fish or vegetables served with distinctive sauces known as mojos. The most famous of these sauces is mojo picon which is a red sauce made with peppers, paprika, cumin, garlic and vinegar and is most commonly served with potatoes – this style of sauce is also served in the Balearic Islands and Valencia.


Potatoes are popular in the Canary Islands and another local dish - Papas arrugadas, involves boiling small potatoes in saltwater until the water evaporates leaving the potato skins wrinkled and covered in a salt crust. These potatoes, served with a good mojo picon sauce, make an incredible version of the popular Spanish dish Patatas bravas.


Another common ingredient in Canary Island recipes is Gofio which is a type of flour made from roasted grains. It was a staple food of the Guanches and can be used in soups, desserts, drinks and sauces; it is also popular in the Caribbean and South America.

Canary Island recipes

Patatas Bravas

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